If you want to be successful, in any capacity in your life, it starts with this:
I don’t care what your goal is, what you want to do, where you want your life to go or to be. That doesn’t matter. Regardless of any of that, the way to get there is by improving yourself.
So how do we do that?
In my experience, it started with a book, and eventually lead to building better habits.
It’s funny that I say that now, because to be completely honest, I’ve been telling myself (and everyone else) my entire life that I absolutely hate reading!
And for almost my entirely life, that has been entirely true.
The only book(s) I have ever read in my entire life out of pure desire was the Harry Potter series, but really, that’s it. I never read a single book in high school (obviously with the exception of science and math textbooks, having to find specific answers for homework or tests/quizzes), nor for most of my adult life.
So, at least to me, it’s kind of ironic that this was one of the most important lessons I learned. But, not in the way you may think.
This is a story about how a single book opened my mind and changed my perspective on so many levels, about so many things… about what I value, where I put my energy, beliefs and doubts about myself, and how to take advantage of every moment and every opportunity presented to me on a daily basis.
Now, before we get to that story, for the record, what I didn’t realize for a long time, was that you don’t need to like books to like learning… and that’s what this is REALLY about… taking action to learn, by learning about your passions.
I still hate reading books just for the sake of reading them, but I love reading how-to guides on the internet, I love reading web posts about business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and mindset, I found things I enjoy reading specifically about.
You can hate one form of something, but still get it in another form.
I love watching course videos and YouTube videos, learning about the ways other people think, how they do things, how their minds view and see the world and problems.
So yes, I hate reading books, and to me for a long time I thought that meant I hated learning. That is far from the truth.
I love learning, and believe knowledge is power. That’s why I think getting people to realize the power they have at their disposal via the Internet is so important.
It’s a tool we use every single day, and yet vastly undervalue.
The point is: just because you think you can’t do something, doesn’t mean that’s true. You just have to look at it from a different perspective.
So, the story of the book:
It starts in Dollywood.
I have always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and everything happens the way it’s supposed to. I’m a man who has always liked to live by “mantras,” but it wasn’t until this year that I started being active about it and really paying attention to my day to day.
A while back, some friends and I traveled to Dollywood (Dolly Parton’s theme park) for a long weekend to celebrate one of our friend’s birthdays. We rented a cabin in the woods right outside of town, and had a fabulous time.
While we were there, we went to a touristy spot called The Island at Pigeon Forge.
It’s a fun little spot with tons of shops, a giant Ferris wheel, a beautiful water fountain that does nightly light shows to music, food, bars, bands, etc.
So we’re walking around, going from shop to shop and just checking things out, did a wine tasting, took some pictures, and eventually ended up at the “end of the line” (also known as the last shop in the loop, and no that wasn’t the actual shop name.. That I don’t remember haha).
We walked in, and it was very much a hippie Earth-friendly type store. They sold organic clothes (I bought a super comfy pair of Thai fisherman’s pants), bags, different crystals and rocks like amethyst, tiger’s eye, etc.
As we’re walking through and exploring, I came to a shelf that had “spellbooks” on it.
I walked away and said to myself, “I don’t need that.”
Now, I don’t believe in magic or “witchcraft” — but there was something about this book that I couldn’t get my mind off of, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. The book was nothing special, just a black book with a star and a simple title, and small.
We continued looking around, but I seriously couldn’t shake the feeling that I just needed that book. I mentioned it to my friends, and one said “Gurl, we’re going to come back tomorrow anyway. Wait. If you still feel the same way tomorrow, just get it.”
I thought that was a logical decision, and so we left.
The next day was the actual Dollywood park adventure. We went and had a blast!
I’ll bet you can guess where this is going though: all day, I couldn’t stop thinking about the book.
We finished at the park, went back to the cabin, got ready to go out to The Island again, and off we went. We got to the shops, and did the entire walk again through all the shops. Again, we ended up at the “hippie” store (tbh, I really don’t know what else to call it, so I’m sorry if that’s offensive, it’s not meant to be).
I immediately walked over to the shelf with the books, and there it was. I grabbed it without hesitation, walked up to the counter, and bought it.
Oddly enough, I was so satisfied with simply knowing I had gotten it, I put it in my bag back at the cabin and didn’t even think about it the rest of the weekend.
Fast forward to post-trip, I got home and unpacked everything. There was the book. I put it on one of my office desks and left it there.
Roughly a week or two later, I was home alone, so I lit myself up a hookah (flavored tobacco in a pipe if you don’t know what hookah is), sat down on my couch, opened up the book, and began to read.
The book was very much about the Wiccan culture, casting spells, ingredients, all that jazz… but if you can believe it, all of that has almost nothing to do with this story I want to share with you, or rather, the results from it.
I finished reading, closed the book, and just sat on my couch, smoking a hookah and taking in what I read. Out of the entire book, there was one thing that just stuck with me for some odd reason. At one point, it’s talking about casting a spell and the ingredients needed… but then it said something in parenthesis:
“If you don’t have a specific ingredient, that’s alright. Just close your eyes and envision that it’s there.”
I thought, “well that’s weird, kind of defeats the purpose doesn’t it?” — but, again, I just felt so in control of the moment for whatever reason, and said “whatever, what have I got to lose?”
I put my hookah hose down, I closed my eyes, and I just visualized this:
I pictured a glow of white energy, seeping out of every pore of my body, surrounding me in a sort of positive protective force field… I then imagined there was all this blue energy floating around me, everywhere, and I imagined my body absorbing it, taking it in, and then waiting for me to do something with it…. So I did.
The next thing I imagined was I just thought about people in my life that I wanted good things to happen for, or to. I pictured specific friends and family members, and imagined me shooting this positive blue energy out across the country, going into them and helping them with their goals, whatever those goals may be: fitness, financial, overcoming obstacles, making a positive life change, just something… literally whoever came to mind and whatever came to mind first.
I think I was meditating… that’s the best way I can describe it.
Think I’m crazy yet? If not, just wait haha!
This entire “visualization” lasted only a matter of maybe 20 seconds or so. I opened my eyes, and just felt good. That’s it. Not magical, not like the Genie from Aladdin with “phenomenal cosmic powers!” — just, good. Really good.
I went upstairs to my office, jumped on my computer, and decided to get some work done.
So the next day, I’m driving home from work and out of nowhere, like a bolt of lightning my mind just starts connecting dots. Now we’re going to play with time travel a little bit, because we’re going to have to go backwards for me to explain this part:
A couple weeks prior to the Dollywood trip, I had been thinking of my mother. I am not a sentimental person, and not very much a family person (I love her, I’m just not very emotional in any capacity). So driving, my mother pops into my head and I just remember thinking to myself “I hope my mom is doing well, and I hope she’s happy.”
So, fast forward to Dollywood, right as we’re about to leave, I see a beautiful Dollywood shirt that has a giant butterfly graphic on it.
I never buy gifts for anyone, I’m not sentimental, but for some reason I was just like “I need to get that for my mom, she’d love it!”
So I buy the shirt, and off we go on the rest of the trip.
I get home, and immediately ship the shirt back home to my mother (we live across the country from each other, so I couldn’t just stop by her house).
This is another “out of character” act for me — there have been times in the past where I had to ship her something, and it would take me months because I just wouldn’t think to ship it.
A few days later, she calls me, says she loves it and “thank you so much!!” etc etc. She’s absolutely ecstatic to have received a gift from me in the mail, I think because it’s so unlike me. The sound of joy coming from her voice was just indescribable, which to me just made no sense… it was just a shirt lol. But regardless, it really just made her day apparently.
Now, going back to the present day part of the story, I’m driving home and like a lightning storm, I start connecting all the dots: I sent out positive energy, and without even realizing it, I fulfilled my own request.
All of a sudden I just remembered wanting to send my mother positive vibes and happiness a couple weeks prior, and I did it without even thinking about why I was doing it (with the shirt).
What has happened since then?
Well, for starters, I learned that this can actually be explained by neuroscience.
According to an interview with Dr. Joe Dispenza by Tom Bilyeu, our brains can’t tell the difference between an event ACTUALLY happening to us, and us imagining an event happening to us. So us simply imagining an event releases chemicals in our brains to release hormones that will give us feels to support that event.
This can work in both a negative, and a positive direction, depending on how we choose to visualize and what we choose to put focus on… good, or bad.
So I started focusing on good, everywhere!
I can’t even begin to explain…
I have NOT become a millionaire overnight (I wish!) or anything crazy like that… BUT, I have been working on several personal projects over the course of the last two years or so that despite all of my efforts, I just haven’t been able to get where I want… until recently.
I’ve started developing good habits (and getting rid of bad ones) out of nowhere that have drastically changed my success, things that I’ve struggled with for YEARS, like remembering all my tasks I’ve needed to get done (somehow I all of a sudden got in the habit of writing everything down, organizing, using a calendar, and making video reminders for myself, which I’ve struggled to do for years), waking up early…
My diet has gone from buying Dunkin’ Donuts and fast food every single day, to being conscious about my health and fitness. Again, things I’ve always tried to be consistent with, but just have struggled to do so.
And I’m not “dieting” — I’m just consciously aware, it’s allowed me to make daily, conscious decisions and it doesn’t feel at all difficult like it has in the past.
Somehow, in some weird, miraculous way, I’ve learned how to do what I believe is take the energy around me, harness it, and re-channel it through simple, every day changes that, despite having huge impact on my day to day life in such a positive way, haven’t really been that drastic.
It’s been a simple mindset shift that has felt so overwhelmingly good, that I just feel the need to share it with people in the hopes that it affects them in the same way.
I truly hope that you have the same happy, positive, life-changing results that I have seen from simply changing my mindset and simple day to day processes, and it started by pursuing knowledge to achieve my goals… through YouTube videos, researching google, and listening to audiobooks from entrepreneurs, CEOs, and personal development gurus.
All it took was starting to open my mind to what I didn’t know, in order to get to where I wanted to be.